Whether you sit in a cushy corner office, or search for your dream job, researching your brand leads to new achievement. Your brand is actually your personal brand. This is your secret sauce, what you’re famous for among your tribes. Researching your brand could lead you to some remarkable discoveries that help you to grow. No doubt, this benefits people who are younger and early in their careers. But, make no mistake, researching your brand is wonderful even when you’re near or at the top. After all, it’s natural for high achievers to wonder what’s next.
When you live on autopilot and do your work day in and day out, it’s actually easy to lose perspective. What strengths do you bring to interactions with others and that you use to get things done? How have you evolved and developed new abilities that people value and appreciate? And, importantly, what do people identify as opportunities for your future growth?
Working on your personal brand is an ongoing pursuit, but it’s likely that you do it passively. Just showing up plays a big role in the reputation you develop. However, keep in mind that your brand develops qualitatively. Actively using your strengths and leadership skills, and masterfully communicating a vision, enhances your visibility and your brand. So, performing your regular duties might allow you to work on your brand without much thought. But, when you do your thing without keeping some personal goals in mind, you could squander your opportunities.
I know a thing or two about this because I help others explore and strengthen their personal brands. Plus, I manage mine, which is interesting because it gives me the chance to experiment, and test new ideas. Exploring and strengthening your brand is iterative. Just because you do a deep dive into researching your brand doesn’t mean that the work is finished forever.
This year, it was time for me to dig deep again. My goal was to emerge with greater clarity about how I best serve people. Often, I recommend this as a goal, whether you are corporate leader or an entrepreneur. Taking an interest in how you serve supports how you succeed, and brings deeper meaning to your brand. In this way, researching your brand leads to new achievement, but without taking an ego trip.
Your brand comprises a big chunk of your overall presence, whether online or in person. So, true to form, I contemplated and implemented ideas to enhance my online reputation and to leave positive lasting impressions.
Now that everyone’s work lives have gone completely online, your online reputation isn’t just about how you look on Zoom. The personal style component is important in its own right. Yet, having a killer LinkedIn profile and a personal website to showcase thought leadership matter first and foremost. Also, for entrepreneurs, a website that clearly speaks to the value clients receive from products or services is crucial. The key is to ensure that what people read about your leadership or services connects in a good way. And the best way to do that is by researching your brand.
In my case, I completely overhauled this website, including continuing to write blog posts that I hope readers find inspiring. Plus, I ripped into my LinkedIn profile and completely overhauled it. Additionally, clients have offered social proof of my effective consulting and coaching. They reviewed my business on Google My Business pages in Silicon Valley and in New York City.
On the entrepreneurial aspect, the constructive interviews and feedback from clients, friends, and family members resulted in expanding my services. This has re-ignited a fire in me, truly a wonderful gift, 31 years into my career.
That might sound like a lot to tackle, but that’s the kind of coach I am. Take the comprehensive approach and leave no stone unturned. If I can encourage myself to go all the way, I would offer you just the same advice, and coaching, if you need it.
What of Yourself You Leave Behind
As for what of yourself you leave behind, I consider this the lasting impression. This is especially valid for job candidates. After the interview ends, and the hiring team conducts, maybe, 300 interviews for this position, what about you stuck? Even if you’re not looking for a new job, what of yourself you leave behind is still important. I actually consider this experiential: what makes the experience of interacting with you memorable in a good way?
Here, executive presence counts heavily. Upon researching your brand, you come to better identify with the qualities and strengths that people most admire about you. When people admire certain qualities about you, it’s because these qualities make them feel good about themselves, and about you.
As a personal example, the way in which I coach and “see” people reflects my presence during an interaction. But, those sessions are not about me; I am there for the client’s well-being. So, after a session, and a client feels better about herself and her direction, she holds a part of me. It’s a wonderful experience to share honest communication, and to guide someone with ease and with confidence. It leads someone to make their own discoveries, and they grow because of your positive presence in their life.
Some of what of yourself you leave behind is also visual. How did you show up? What did you wear? Here, personal style weighs more heavily. Again, since our work lives are upended and all online, even your visible home environment leaves people an impression. Is it good? It’s worth assessing and then adjusting for a more desirable or favorable outcome.
I always intended to have a special space in my home where I could see clients. Good thing because now everyone enters my special space, only via Zoom. People tell me that they look forward to seeing the space, even on video, because it makes them feel good.
So, while it’s true that researching your brand leads to new achievement, you can make great strides fairly fast. A solid assessment, a doable game plan with attainable goals, a solid coach, and your total commitment are all you need to find new success.